The power of the title

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  • The power of the title

    Recently there was a thread here questioning whether a great title was needed for a script to be considered high concept.

    I saw this today on trackingb.com:

    SOCCER MOM
    Representation: Underground Films & Mike Karz
    Written by: Anya Kochoff
    A mother of two gets a second chance to go back to college and play on its soccer team.

    and all I could think was, perhaps the execution was amazing, but the title on this project was much stronger than the logline.
    Interesting ...

  • #2
    Re: The power of the title

    If you can tell your premise in the title, and it sounds like a good one, then you've got a natural advantage.

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    • #3
      Re: The power of the title

      I'm one who believes a bad title may not kill your script, but a good title can only help it. IOW, it's better to have a good title than a crappy one.

      So...

      When talking about high concept scripts ... and mostly comedy HC... it isn't just the title, it's how the title fits into the whole package.

      The title encapsulates the concept (SOCCER MOM, DR. SENSITIVE etc...) and then it's up to the writer to exploit it to the max. 'Exploit' = wringing the most out, tying it all together, coming up with plot ideas based on the concept etc.

      Catchy title + high concept + (hopefully) good exploitation/execution

      The title is part of a unified, put together package. Blake Snyder has built his empire around selling this formula. It's what Hwood seems to want in spec comedies.

      We all know-- or should know-- this is how the HC comedy spec game is played.

      "Trust your stuff." -- Dave Righetti, Pitching Coach

      ( Formerly "stvnlra" )

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      • #4
        Re: The power of the title

        I think it's a great title. It cuts straight to the chase, appeals to a potentially very big family audience and will sell bucket-loads of tickets.

        It almost doesn't need a logline.
        TimeStorm & Blurred Vision Book info & blog: https://stormingtime.com//

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        • #5
          Re: The power of the title

          The title for my $4 billion alien invasion spec is: ATTACK OF THE ATTACKING ATTACKERS!



          I agree though. A killer title does help. I'm still trying to come up with a catchy one-word title for my spec. It's hard.
          @TerranceMulloy

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          • #6
            Re: The power of the title

            Originally posted by boski
            "SOCCER MOM" is a good/strong title!!!???

            Granted, the logline's noting to get excited about, but neither is the title IMO.

            Soccer Mom??? So what?

            Do you guys really think this a strong or standout title of some kind?

            Honestly, I'm not seeing it at all.

            Like I argued in that previous "Great Title" thread, this title just looks fairly simple and pedestrian to me. Nothing special. Certainly nothing great or particularly memorable. Just like the titles of the majority of the specs being sold.
            Boski, a good title is merely one that is catchy & fits the story/concept. It doesn't have to be earth shattering or cure cancer.

            I'm not crazy about that concept, but SOCCER MOM as a title is solid.

            Pop catch phrases are esp effective in spec comedy scripts ie, WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS, C___BLOCKER, BROMANCE, BFF (there are 2 Black List scripts with that title!) etc.

            A catchy title is esp important for HC comedies, less so for other genres. But still, every script should have a catchy title.

            GALAHAD is a way better title than The Vile Lady Guenevere... I think that was the original title. Ryan can correct me if I'm wrong.

            "Trust your stuff." -- Dave Righetti, Pitching Coach

            ( Formerly "stvnlra" )

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: The power of the title

              Oh man, titles. A good title is sooooooooooooo important. More important than people know. It's the first thing that people see/hear from the moment you finish the script until opening day. Any title that elevates you above other script/movie titles is a huge advantage. I didn't know this until I actually had a good title. I wrote this movie about a guy named Dick who lost his, uhh, well, a special part of his body. It was titled The Dick Dilemma (not amazing but clever enough). Just the looks in people's eyes when I mentioned the title (compared to previous script titles I had talked about) taught me how important the title was. There was a gleam in their eye. They were excited.

              Soccer Mom is a really dumb title, by the way. The comment above about the Attack of the Attacking Attackers really isn't that far off. We refuse to use creativity anymore and just basically say exactly what the movie is about in the title. Little Children is an example of a good title.

              For the record, I started a thread on another board once titled: "Best titles of all time." Hundreds of opinions. And they were all over the place. Which just goes to show that the quality of a title, just like the quality of a movie, is extremely subjective.

              But yeah, Soccer Mom is still a stupid title.

              link to thread: http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=95157
              Last edited by ScriptShadow; 07-22-2008, 09:56 PM.
              Script Reviews - 5 a week! http://scriptshadow.blogspot.com/

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              • #8
                Re: The power of the title

                for example: I don't think Pulp Fiction would've done nearly as well if it were titled "Angry Guys" - but I gaurantee you a Dev Exec today would try to title it that.
                Script Reviews - 5 a week! http://scriptshadow.blogspot.com/

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                • #9
                  Re: The power of the title

                  Originally posted by wilsoneads View Post
                  for example: I don't think Pulp Fiction would've done nearly as well if it were titled "Angry Guys" - but I gaurantee you a Dev Exec today would try to title it that.
                  True. But to be fair, I didn't know what a "Reservoir Dog" was before I saw the movie.
                  I saw the movie
                  I loved the movie
                  but 16 years later and I STILL don't know what a Reservoir Dog is!

                  I live in the city so I see 'Water Rats' in the subways all the time... but I think a 'Reservoir Dog' would scare the shizzle outta me!
                  Last edited by upallnite; 07-23-2008, 09:21 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: The power of the title

                    Originally posted by seh View Post
                    Recently there was a thread here questioning whether a great title was needed for a script to be considered high concept.

                    I saw this today on trackingb.com:

                    SOCCER MOM
                    Representation: Underground Films & Mike Karz
                    Written by: Anya Kochoff
                    A mother of two gets a second chance to go back to college and play on its soccer team.

                    and all I could think was, perhaps the execution was amazing, but the title on this project was much stronger than the logline.
                    Interesting ...
                    I agree with you ... I like the title, but the logline wasn't what I expected from the title. So the logline squanders the potential of the title, IMO.

                    If it's called Soccer Mom, then I at least expect the central struggle to be related to her life as a soccer mom, not a mom who decides to play soccer ...

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                    • #11
                      Re: The power of the title

                      I'll give a couple of opposite sources that have many good titles

                      http://www.lmn.tv/movies/browser.php

                      http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000219/

                      Last night in San Pedro

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